If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting the traditional Christmas markets of Dresden in Germany, you’ll know just how popular Stollen is during the festive period. This classic Christmas loaf is lighter than the fruit cake we’re used to on these shores, but no less satisfying.
You’ll find loads of different stolen recipes on the internet, some better than others. This is ours.
If you want to enjoy stolen over Christmas, you’ll need to get cracking with this recipe now – you’ll need to let it rest for at least a week before tucking in!
What you’ll need:
700g all-purpose flour
160g candied citrus (orange and / or lemon) peel
200g icing sugar
100g blanched almonds
15g dry active yeast
1tsp vanilla extract
What you’ll need to do:
1. Pour the currants, raisins and citrus peel into a bowl and cover with warm water. Leave to soak for 45 minutes before draining into another bowl and preserving the water.
2. Mix the yeast in warm water and leave for 10-15 minutes. Pour in half of the milk and 1 cup of flour and stir until a smooth dough forms. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rest at room temperature for 4 hours.
3. After 4 hours, stir the flour mixture and pour in the remaining flour and milk. Add the vanilla, sugar (not the icing sugar), salt and about 340g of butter and stir to combine.
4. Lightly flour your worktop. Turn out the dough and knead until smooth and elastic. Add a little of the water leftover from the raisins if the dough is too dry. Roll into a ball and cover with cling film. Set aside for 2 hours to allow it to increase in size.
5. Flatten out the dough. Add the raisins, citrus peel and almonds to the dough and fold in half to cover. Knead to work in the fruit and nuts.
6. Split the dough in two and roll out each so that it’s about 1 inch thick. Fold the dough in half and shape it into a square. Cover with cling film and set aside for 1 hour.
7. Preheat your oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5.
8. Place the dough onto a parchment-lined baking tray and cook for 45-minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
9. Melt the remaining butter in the microwave and use it to coat each stolen loaf when you remove it from the oven. Seive on the icing sugar and set the loaves aside to cool completely.
10. Cover the stolen with tin foil and plastic bags and store in a cool, dry place for 1-2 weeks before serving.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting the traditional Christmas markets of Dresden in Germany, you’ll know just how popular Stollen is during the festive period.